Franz Marc 1880-1916
Marc was one of the key figures of the German Expressionist movement. He became an artist after serving
an obligatory year of military service, which interrupted his plans to study philosophy. From 1900 to 1902,
he studied at the Kunstakademie in Munich with Gabriel Hackl and Wilhelm von Diez. The following year
during a visit to France, he was introduced to Japanese woodcuts and the work of the Impressionists in
Marc suffered from severe depressions from 1904 to 1907. In 1907, he went again to Paris, where he
responded enthusiastically to the work of Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, the Cubists, and the
Expressionists. Later, he was impressed by the Henri Matisse exhibition in Munich in 1910. During this
period, he received steady income from the animal-anatomy lessons he gave to artists.
When World War I broke out in August 1914, Marc immediately enlisted. Fellow painter Richard Seewald
wrote a letter to Marie Marc in February 1916, saying that Marc was among 30 especially gifted artists who
are supposed to be called back from the front. A few weeks later Marc writes to his wife, telling her that he
is looking forward to returning to his "undamaged, lovely home, to you and to my work". Shortly after, on
March 4th, before returning home, he was killed near Verdun-sur-Meuse, Lorraine (France).